Media Planning for Dummies

Media Planning for Dummies

Without wanting to sound all Charlie Big Bananas, we’d like to think there’s a bit of an art to what we do every day, so with that in mind, I’ve put together a bit of a skit on how we approach a new media proposal and set about turning a tired advertising pattern devised on the back of a fag packet into a targeted, responsive media plan.

Getting a good brief and defining audience

Asking the right questions at the outset is massively important to the strength of the campaign. Find out whether the aim is to increase brand visibility, or to garner direct response.

If it’s a direct response campaign, really get a handle on exactly what the product being promoted is. Establish whether your client is aiming to drive visits to their website or push for sales direct in store.

It’s great to learn what you can from the existing CRM database first – we have tools that can profile your database (ask us about a free audit) – this will help us choose media channels appropriate for the most prominent gender, age groups and demographic profiles for the relevant product to minimise wastage and make the campaign as cost effective as possible.

That’s the sciency way, but don’t be afraid to let us throw out the rule book if you want us to – are you missing a huge market of new users who aren’t on your database – do you reckon elderly ladies bought an unusually large supply of Korfball equipment last March? We’ll chase the niche and find a medium that’ll hit the brief.

It’s really important to take into account the client’s marketing to date – you don’t always have to start with a blank page – speak to key people, find out what they like, interrogate the stats for what’s worked – who knows, those vouchers for 50p off Jumbo Dairy Milk just might have increased sales of Washing up Liquid 300% year on year. A new campaign can be evolution, not just revolution (cliché alert).

Do your Research 

We in media planning love an acronym and a stat – get stuck into TGI for consumer data, JICREG and BRAD for press and magazine readerships, RAJAR for the key info on radio channels, BARB for your TV research, run yourself a PPC keyword search, do some digging for the display network with the best CPT’s and CTR’s, and after you’ve done all that, don’t forget KFC for…food.

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Once you’ve done all that lovely satisfying work with graphs and bar charts, you can have a go at the big questions;

Reach and Frequency – how can we hit as many of the right people as possible, at a level that’s not overbearing?

Cost efficiency – let’s not book a digital screen in Piccadilly Circus to target West Country farmers shall we?

Will you get best value for money by using your TV budget on a Tuesday evening on ITV4, or by going on demand only, and hitting the Downton Christmas special?

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The increasing prominence of multi screening in the home means you’d be a fool not to think about how to schedule your online and social media output around those big ticket TV schedules to make your advertising campaign work harder and smarter.

Lastly and probably most importantly, be prepared to take calculated risk with a small percentage of the overall budget. As an agency we’re big on the 70/20/10 model, using 70% of marketing budget on the tried and trusted, 20% on the recently tried successful newbies, and 10% on the innovative, new media channels that are new to market with potentially big rewards.

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